Monday, October 7, 2019
5 min read

When to apply for graduate jobs

So you’ve made it to your final year – congrats! You’re on the home stretch. Now, we don’t want to sound like one of your overbearing aunts at a family gathering, but…have you thought about what you’re going to do next? Once you’ve celebrated to the point that there’s champagne coming out your ears, it may be time to consider a job. 

The graduate world can be quite overwhelming. Personally, I had no idea where to begin and luckily found my way to the BrighterBox website! To help you out, we’ve compiled a simple guide on how to get a graduate job, and when you need to get started with applications.

GIF of Rachel from Friends saying 'I'm gonna go get one of those job things'


When should I apply for a graduate scheme? 

October/ November of your final year 

September to November is when applications open for grad schemes. These are often entry-level roles with big corporations, or structured programmes where you gain experience in a company over this period. They might be rotational (across a range of functions of the business) or based in a particular area, like sales or HR. 

Aiming to start a grad scheme fresh out of uni can be a good way to motivate yourself through the final year, or for some it might be reassuring to know in advance what you’re doing after graduation. Whilst deadlines for initial application will be around now, the application process will carry on from here and play out with various stages over the next few months, including psychometric tests and interview rounds. 

HOWEVER! If you’re thinking of going down a different route, e.g. joining a cool startup where you can make an impact and grow in a role from day one, this potentially isn’t your optimum time to apply. Startups often need to hire quickly and so whilst you’re probably a great candidate, they often won’t be able to commit to hiring you at that point. 


When should I apply to work in a startup? 

October and November

If you’re a 2020 grad-to-be looking for roles now, it’s still worth making an account with us! Whilst we might not be putting you forwards for interviews straight away, we’ll review your CV. You should definitely check back in over the coming months, keep a track of what sort of roles appeal to you and fit with your experience, and then you’ll be all set to send in that winning application a bit closer to graduation! 

May, June, July 

You’re approaching the end of Uni, but this is a stressful time. Whilst you might want to start looking ahead to roles with start dates straight after you finish, its important to keep prioritising yourself during the final weeks and months of Uni, especially if you have final exams. 

At BrighterBox, you can create an account and upload your CV, and if you stand out we’ll invite you to book in a quick 10 minute chat to get to know you a bit better! (Think of getting to know us as a fun revision break, or do it hungover on the morning after your last exam as I did). 

GIF of man falling onto the floor with the caption 'I NEED A BREAK'

From here, we can start looking out for your perfect role and get back in touch about things that we think could be suitable when you’re ready to start interviewing! 

July and August

By July you’ve probably finishing up your degree and heading out into the real world post-university. 

GIF of Kurtan McLowe saying 'What is the real world actually like?'

Think about how you’re set for interviews in the coming weeks. If you’re planning to go travelling, you’ll want to be looking for roles with a further ahead start date, so make sure this is something that you check in on during the application process. 

September and October

This is prime job hunt season and businesses know it! September and October are some of the busiest times at BrighterBox, with recent graduates looking for their first role after a summer break or internship stint. Companies know that fresh grads are searching for great roles, and that this is a great time to be hiring. If you’ve just graduated, you can check out some of our great roles here

Applying for roles at a startup often means quite short recruitment cycles. So, whereas applying for a grad scheme now might mean you don’t start working for another year still, with startups you can be in the role asap (think weeks, not months). 

Hopefully this helps! And if you decide to go down the (arguably more fun) startup route, you know where to find us

Graduate Jobs